Tuesday, September 12, 2006

E-Bay Ain't Necessarily Cheaper - Alternative Ways to Shop While Buck Naked

You may recall my futzing about with a small air compressor. Well, just when I finished the enclosure for it, to cut down the sound, I turned it on, and it leaked air out of the controller. A long,boring, and horrible disassembly resulted in the determination that it was un-salvageable. The enclosure was SOOOOO tight, no other compressor would fit in it, and I didn't want to throw it out, after the time and money I'd invested in it.

I bought the original compressor on E-Bay, so I went looking there. Vendors still offered it, although not the one I bought mine from. But I never managed to win one at what I thought it was worth. Plus, shipping for something as heavy as this is high.

I have a Kragen Auto Parts (used to be Grand Auto, a locally based regional change, but they went belly up...). I'd noticed they carried air compressors, although the shop I'd checked (in person) hadn't had any like what I needed. But online, they did! And I could pick it up locally, so FREE SHIPPING.

The unit I got from them is actually higher in quality than my original version, for what amounted to less money.

One of the things I like about shopping on the Internet, whether E-Bay or otherwise, is that I can do it late in the evening when I don't have the energy to do anything else - on my project or otherwise. But the shipping eats away at any savings, and E-Bay auctions are anymore not such a bargain. I've been trying to catch a good deal on a backpacking stove, and most of the auctions, especially after shipping, have been coming in at my local retail price or MORE.

So for me, this Online Shopping/Local Delivery works well. I don't have to drive to someplace, usually on a weekend, when places like auto parts stores are a zoo, only to find that what I want is not in stock. I can order, and be SURE I can pick it up within 1-2 business days - faster than shipping, at no charge. Sears has a similar deal. Come to think of it, when Sears had a big catalog operation, back when I was a kid in the 1960's and '70's, my mom used to order from the catalog for delivery to a special catalog outlet that was closer to our home in a developing suburb than any Sears retail store and I think shipping was free then too. Recreation Equipment Inc. has this option as well.

So give it a shot.

Anyway, I got the compressor into it's enclosure, piped up the way I want it, and I used it to drive my rivet gun for the first time tonight. Pictures by the weekend.

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